• 2021 Virtual Mississippi River Delta Institute featuring Waters to the Sea®

    4 Week Online Course Starting January 12, 2021

    Online Application

    At the end of the Mississippi’s long journey to the Gulf of Mexico, America’s greatest river passes through a delta of unparalleled richness and complexity. Teeming with wildlife and ecological variety, a cradle for a fascinating blend of cultural traditions, and one of the most endangered environments on the planet—the Delta is all this and more. 

    Join us January 2021 for the Virtual Mississippi River Delta Institute (VMRDI)—a free professional development program combining online and hands-on activities to inspire, educate and prepare 3rd-8th grade teachers to engage students in STEM disciplines through experiential, inquiry-based investigations. 

    Based on this summer’s highly successful Virtual Mississippi River Institute focused on the Headwaters region, VMRDI will take place live over four evening sessions from 6 pm - 8 pm CST on January 12, 19, 26 and February 3 2021. It will incorporate expert presentations about Delta environments, rich media resources ready for use with students, community-building with other educators, and independent offline explorations.

    This workshop is a component of a national initiative to develop a community of water educators. The Rivers Institutes are highly acclaimed professional development workshops developed by CGEE in St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information on the Rivers Institutes and CGEE, please visit the Graduate Programs and Professional Development page.

    Headwaters to the Delta Workshop Goals

    To increase teachers' knowledge of Mississippi River related content, enhance STEM-focused investigation skills, expand literacy skills, and help guide the development of meaningful, engaging investigations for students learning remotely and in the classroom.


    All elementary and middle school classroom teachers, as well as teams of teachers are welcome to apply. Our focus will be upon 3rd-8th grade STEM standards and activities. Other educators will also be considered. 

    Activities to Accomplish Objectives

    During the River Institute experience, participants will:

    • Discover interactive, online modules that explore the Mississippi River Delta

    • Utilize Waters to the Sea® multimedia learning tools and other classroom resources

    • Create plans to implement science, inquiry, and literacy investigations in online, in-person and hybrid classrooms 

    • Articulate virtual field investigations through accurate scientific observations

    • Conduct inquiry-based investigations of riverine and marsh habitats, delta geology, coastal engineering, and urban water management

    • Learn, create and implement new strategies using science notebooks

    • Share strategies for helping students ‘think like a scientist,’ ‘design like an engineer,’ and ‘write like an author’

    Each Rivers Institute Participant Will Receive

    • Four 2-hour long sessions of experiential instruction from master environmental educators;

    • Learning and sharing with a community of educators;

    • Continuing Education Credits;

    • The Waters to the Sea® multimedia tool; and

    • The option to purchase two graduate-level credits from Hamline University.

    Stipends for St. Bernard, Terrebonne, and Lafourche Parish educators

    A limited number of $150 stipends are available to teachers attending from St. Bernard, Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish. Up to $700 of additional financial support for related school supplies and field trips is available for a limited number of St. Bernard Parish teachers who implement the program in the classroom. Please contact us for more information and eligibility. 

    The 2021 Virtual Mississippi River Delta Institute is funded through the generous financial assistance of the Meraux Foundation. With their ongoing support CGEE enables hundreds of teachers to improve the way they understand and teach science, and help thousands of students connect with the natural world.

    Waters to the Sea®

    Rivers Institute participants will receive and explore a suite of multimedia learning modules designed to help students in grades 3-8 understand critical water issues through engaging stories and visualizations.

    New interactive multimedia learning materials about the Delta’s natural and cultural history are being made available for this institute through the Headwaters to the Delta Initiative.

    Learn about the other Teacher Professional Development opportunities at the Center for Global Environmental Education.